• Justin Handlin

Encounters on the Savage Seas

Encounters on the Savage Seas

w Jeff Stevens

Crit Academy is joined by Jeff Stevens a best-selling creator on DMsguild.com. We discuss his most recent supplement Dungeons and Dragons nautical supplements "Encounters on the Savage Seas". A resource to help you run the most fun combats you ever have, no matter your DMing style. It is the distillation of knowledge from the masters of the hobby as well as the years of experience held by each of the contributors.

What's in this thing?

Encounters on the Savage Seas is a 100-page supplement containing mini-adventures, NPCs, new ships, locations, and magic items. In all, the writers have produced 19 unique encounters, NPCs, and locations for you to add to any nautical campaign. We’ve even included scaling suggestions so they can be used with different party levels.

  • Visit the township of Badu - the village riding on the back of a gigantic dragon turtle

  • Encounter space pirates

  • Interact with goblin pirates commanding strange water vehicles

  • Roleplay with Loan Sharks

  • Endure the Fog of Horrors

  • and so much more...

Includes downloadable files for most of the maps used.

Take a moment to view the 20-page preview. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Get Encounters on the Savage Seas Now!

Sponsor: Kobold Press: The Forest Calls—and Heroes Shall Answer!

Margreve Player’s Guide for 5th Edition gives you everything you need to journey into the deep, dark woods and come out again alive—or achieve a hero’s death worthy of story and song! Here you’ll find: Get it here!

Unearthed Tips and Tricks! We bring you new and creative content for you to bring with you on your next adventure

Character Concept:

The Call of Music- Jeff Stevens

For the character concept - does this work? I've always thought about creating a cleric / bard combo - inspired by Monty Python. In the Holy Grail there's a young prince who doesn't want to be brave or be a prince, he only wants to sing. My idea is to have the character start out as a cleric but he doesn't want to be a cleric. His parents have forced him into being a cleric. All he really wants to do is be a bard. So, whenever he has to do cleric stuff, he gets frustrated and is slightly unwilling to do so. Mumbles to himself and whines about it.

This could be done with any class combo. wizard/bard might be better. or barbarian / bard might be the best.

Monster Variant:

Pirate Captain:

Origin: Spy


Replace Hand Crossbow with the DMGs Pistol.(slight damage boost),

Shortsword should be flavored as a cutlass.

New Features

Rigging Monkey

The pirate captain has a climbing speed of 30 feet.

Scurvy Dog’s Dirty Tricks

When a the pirate captain is attacked with a melee weapon it can see, it can use its reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll, using a small controlled black powder explosion to flare in the attackers face before it hits or misses. An attack that can’t be blinded is immune to this feature.

Innate Spellcasting. The pirate captain’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma. The pirate captain can cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: vicious mockery


WEATHERING THE STORM (From - Challenge Accepted)

The roaring tempest rages around the ship and dark thunderheads fill the sky. The captain’s orders barely audible over the winds din. The sails are raised, they’re filled to life like the wings of a Roc leaping from a cliff. Waves erupting onto the bow, sending debris on the deck scattering. The sailors faces grim, but full of determination. The cracking of thunder, and crashing of waves tosses the ship as if it was nothing but a leaf in a rapid river. The icy touch of the water an ill omen to the danger ahead.

Setup: The characters are sailing the high seas, either as part of a temporary travel to a particular destination, or they own the vessel and are forced to travel when a high storm is supposed to hit, but they have no choice but to travel on. In either case, this skill challenge will test their mettle on piloting the ship during a storm unlike anything they’ve witnessed before. Manning the sails, navigating with limited visibility, and most importantly, staying on the vessel’s deck.

Complexity: 3 (requires 8 successes before 3 failures)

Primary Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Investigation, Sleight of Hand

  • Acrobatics (Hard DC): As the storm rocks the boat back and forth, the massive swells send gallons of water onto the deck creating slick surface cause you to slide about, you quickly catch your balance to prevent yourself from going overboard.

  • A failure here causes a character to go overboard. See Overboard(below)

  • Athletics (Medium DC): You pull tight on the rigging and adjust the sails orientation so that you ensure that the ship has enough speed to reach the crest of the incoming waves, while at the same time avoiding putting too much strain on the sails, masts and riggings.

  • A failure here causes a character to go overboard. See Overboard(below)

  • Investigation (Medium DC): While extremely difficult to read the map due to the weather, you are able to discern your location and shout to the crew the necessary corrections.

  • A failure here means the character incorrectly identifies the a good route to take, leading the crew Deeper into the storm, causing the loss of precious time and forcing the boat to endure an extended beating.

  • Perception (Hard DC): The character spots an incoming swell about to smash into the hull of the vessel, and alerting the crew.

  • This does not grant a success on the challenge but grants advantage on the next Acrobatics or Athletics check.

  • Sleight of Hand: With the high winds and sea battering the ropes, several riggings ropes snap. You’re quickly reminded of your experience setting roped traps and tents with intricate knots, You quickly decide the best knot for the job and tie the broken lines together in a cobbled fashion.

  • Survival (Medium DC): Your keen awareness indicates a shift in the winds. You shout out to the crew so they can make the necessary adjustments.

  • A success here provides advantage on the next investigation check made in this challenge, but otherwise doesn’t count as a success or failure.


Setup: The character is tossed or slips and falls overboard. The waters are treacherous, and waves are difficult to overcome, and the continual pounding of water and wind makes it difficult for a creature to breathe, swim or even see where they are going. Any reasonable attempts by the crew to rescue the character overboard grants advantage to the appropriate check.

Athletics, Constitution, Perception (medium DC’s)

  • On a failure, the character begins drowning(PHB 183). While overboard, the creature must immediately make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw and again every minute they are overboard.

  • On a failed save, the waves thrash them and they sink below the surface, air escaping their lungs in the fight and they lose one minute of air. If the creature has no more air, they are unconscious and must make death saves for every additional round they are in the water.

Total Success: The characters successfully navigate the terrible storm, crew and vessel intact and arrive at their destination with little problem.

Success: The characters successfully navigate the terrible storm, crew safe, but severe damage to the vessel and barely manages to reach its destination, crew suffering a level of exhaustion and the ship will need repairs before setting sail again.

Failure: The characters are unsuccessful in navigate the tumultuous storm, the ship is knocked off course and runs ashore on a small undiscovered island with cannibal natives.

Magic Item:

Peg Leg Boots (Encounters of the Savage Seas)

Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement)

These boots are black leather and calf-high with a silver buckle along the outside of each. While you wear these boots, you have advantage on Charisma ability checks and saving throws while on a ship, an island, or coastal settlement. In addition, your base movement speed is reduced by 5 feet.

Curse. These boots are cursed, and becoming attuned to them extends the curse to you. Once attuned to the boots, you can’t remove them unless you are targeted by a remove curse spell or similar magic. While wearing these boots, your right leg twists and contorts into a wooden peg leg.

Dungeon Master Tip:

Fantastic Terrain!

The world of D&D is full of magic, monsters, and divine power. These wondrous sources can cause fantastic terrain to form. Chaotic energies can suffuse the air where a powerful planar portal was opened, sending random bursts of uncontrolled magic in all directions. Powerful ritual circles can enhance the effect of the dark magic of an evil wizard or a chamber flooded with water could dampen the effects of fire magic.

Defiled Ground

This is the site of a dark necromancer's powerful ritual, or an area of ceremonial sacrifice. The stench of death fills the area, attracting spirits of the dead. A creature who stands in an area of defiled ground and casts a necromancer spell increases the effect as if it cast the spell at one level higher than the slot used, up to 9th level.

Grab Grass

Grab grass is thick and tough tendril like dark blue and green plants often found in the forests of the Feywild or areas that are heavily influenced by the Feywild’s magic bleeding into the material world. A creature that falls prone in an area filled with grab grass must succeed on a (medium) DC Strength check to stand up.

Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick

Arcane Studies!

Control Water Submersible.

Our friend Mira masterfully used Control. Combining its Part Water, Redirect Flow and Whirlpool effects to turn a regular boat into a short term submersible.

Using Part Water, to for a bubble like breathing area around the boat and redirect flow and whirlpool to pull the boat along. Since the boats dmg threshold is above the spells dmg effect, the boat remained intact and allowed them to hunt for Giant Clams with pearls underwater.

Make sure to subscribe to our show at www.critacademy.com, and Youtube so we can help you on your future adventures as well as a chance to win cool prizes each and every week. Make sure to check out our fellowship members as well. Or support us on Patreon and get weekly Dungeons and Dragons loot!

28 views0 comments